Pistons Bullock becomes LGBTQ ally as tribute to late sister

Reggie Bullock is coming off his most impactful season in the NBA.Now, he’s eager to embrace what he expects to be his most impactful offseason.The Detroit Pistons’ forward will be in New York on Saturday night to speak at the GLAAD Media Awards dinner. Specifically, Bullock plans to address inclusion and equality for transgender people - which has become a calling of his since the murder of his sister, Mia Henderson, in the summer of 2014 at the age of 26.”Obviously, this is something close to home with a family member of mine,” Bullock told The News earlier this week. “Something tragic happened to me. I’m trying to bring equality within sports and everyday lives.”My message will be something that’s pretty much from the heart.”It means something to me, my life’s journey.”Bullock first went public in 2016 about the death of his oldest sister, and in the years since, he’s become more interested in becoming a face for the community that, admittedly and understandably, he didn’t understand when he was younger and his sister still was alive.His efforts have picked up steam in the past several months, as he’s met with gay-rights organizations such as GLAAD and Athlete Ally.That led to GLAAD invited him to speak at its New York gala, one of the LGBTQ community’s most visible nights of the year.”It was real. It was close to home. It was the life of a sibling that I didn’t know, pretty much, internally what she was going through,” Bullock said. “A lot of it began with me not knowing, and eager to know more about that community and the life that she lived and what she went through daily.”Just being a straight person, to be able to bring equality is something I’ve been trying to learn more about, and trying to take a stand for.”Bullock is an important ally on many fronts. As he pointed out, he’s straight. He’s also black, a highly marginalized population in the LGBTQ community. And he’s bringing more visibility to transgender rights, a little-talked-about segment of the cause.Bullock - at 27, a year older than his sister (born Kevin Long) was when she was murdered in Baltimore - wears a tattoo on his left leg that reads “LGBTQ” with his sister’s name. He also hosted a Pistons Pride Night at Little Caesars Arena this spring - the Pistons are the only one of the four professional teams in Detroit to officially sponsor a Pride Night; the Red Wings participate in the NHL-wide “Hockey is for Everyone” initiative - and he vows this is just the beginning of his efforts.”I’m taking it day by day,” Bullock said.He recently posted on Twitter about a dream he had - that one day, NBA teams will wear rainbow jerseys for one game a year. He said he believes that could happen, or if it’s not rainbow jerseys, maybe rainbow socks, or something of the like.

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